A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
face with its index finger pointing to his closed lips—thus enjoining silence.
The figure behind him was the Sphinx.
Ament held her right hand extended towards Rameses; she gripped a handled cross between her fingers, and pointed its end directly between the king's eyes.
What was the signification of this scene?
The Egyptologist would, no doubt, offer a perfectly connected and obvious reading, and one which, on its own level, would be correct enough. He would tell you that the king was simply engaged in making sacrifices to the gods—nothing more. Often these wall-scenes are nothing but pictured histories or recitals of war triumphs. Obviously this scene was nothing of the kind, but indicative of some extremely sacrosanct rite; particularly as it appeared upon a wall near the sanctuary, the holy of holies of this temple.
And, just as the system of Egyptian hieroglyphs was employed to signify an esoteric meaning known only to initiated priests, even though the same symbolical characters were used; so, too, the very figures under which the gods were represented carried a far profounder meaning to the initiate of ancient times. The inner teaching of this picture, therefore, can only be detected by one conversant with the doctrine and methods of the Mysteries.
The significance of this panel especially lay in the action of the goddess Ament. The handled cross, or cross with a circle on the top, which she pointed midway between Rameses' eyes, was called by initiated priests "the Key to the Mysteries" and represented admittance into the Mysteries themselves. Yet to the Egyptologist it merely represents life. As a key it symbolize^ the unlocking of the guarded door of that august institution, but as a geometrical pattern it symbolized the eternal spirit of the initiate rising triumphant out of his "crucified" material body. The circle, having neither visible beginning nor end, stood for the everlasting nature of godlike spirit; while the cross symbolized the death-like state of enhancement into which the initiate was thrown, and thus his death, his crucifixion. In certain temples he was actually tied to a wooden couch, which was shaped like a cross.
The point midway between the eyebrows is roughly the position of a gland in the brain—the pineal gland—by whose complicated function doctors are still puzzled. In the first